I have worked behind the scenes of successfull coworkers as a office manager for more than 20 years. Paperwork, managing bank statements, payroll, accounts receivables and payables flooded my day to day list of responsibilities. I helped all my friends who desired to start businesses do so and one day I thought to myself Huumm, "I am helping everyone else realize their dreams, what about my dreams." That is when the birth of owning my own business began for me.
At first I did not know for sure what kind of business I wanted to be in so I tried things I thought I was good at. At first I tried a bookeeping and tax business. This was OK but it was what I had done on my day job for so long that I became bored with it. After that I tried a couple of other things but they were not things I loved. Finally, I started my bath and body business and I knew that this was what I wanted to do because it was easy for me to stay up hour after hour experimenting my creativity.
Do What You Love -- Now, once you had discovered the love of your life, it takes time and money to be in business and you will need a plan to help you make it happen. So pace your self, but, Work It, Work It, Work It!.
Borrowed Information -- Written by: Dawn Rosenberg McKay
Career Planning at About.com. http://careerplanning.about.com/cs/consulting/a/entrepreneur.htm
Anyone who has ever worked for someone has had the following thought run through his or her mind: "I would be much better off being my own boss." Many people decide to take that thought and run with it, joining the ranks of many who become entrepreneurs. Many small start-up businesses see great success while others fail. Making the Shift -- As with any other aspect of career planning, a great deal of thought should be put into making the decision to strike out on your own. Not everyone is cut out to work for themselves. When you work for yourself there is little time away from work. Even if you do manage to take some time off, your business will be on your mind.
Find out if self employment is a dream you should follow.
Talking to others who have taken this path is also a wise idea. Find out what they liked about working for themselves as well as what they didn't like. Others with personalities similar to your own are probably better sources than those with dissimilar characteristics.
Tools of the Trade
You've looked deep into yourself to assess whether entrepreneurship is for you. You've listened to the stories of seasoned entrepreneurs. You've decided that this is something you'd like to give a shot. As with any other life altering decisions, planning is everything. And I do mean everything. In order to apply for business loans or other types of funding, you must have a business plan. Writing one takes some time and no one will give you money for a plan that is not well thought out.
Keeping up with the news in your particular area of expertise is a must, whether you own the business or not. When you are the owner, however, you need to read more than journals in your field. You must keep up with the issues that affect entrepreneurs.
Networking -- I believe to become a successful business owner you must understand the art of networking. You may run into people who are threatened by this idea but most really successfull business owners, understand this principle. Find people or an industry leader who you can model and communicate with and you be a good listener. After you have done the basics it is time to go to work. Remember you do not have to recreate wheels for the basic stuff. This can consume more time than necessary on chores that will earn you little or no MONEY.
First things First, learn every thing there is to know about the products and the ingredients in the products you want to carry. You will need to be able to explain to you customers the benefits of your products and how the ingredients work. If you are going to begin making products. don't be afraid to make mistakes, be creative. I recommend that you start with small batches until you have perfected your formulas. Find a a reputable supplier like Wholesale Natural Body Care that has customer support and initially use their cosmetic bases then after you have established a good customer base you can begin working on your own products. This may take some time, be prepared to work hard at this.
Quality means everything! You can not be to careful when selecting a supplier for you cosmetic bases and other products to market. When I first got started I purchased a great deal of supplies, especially my cosmetic bases from other companies but what I learned after becoming more experienced is that my supplier's ideas are not my ideas and I need to be the owner of products that best reflect my expectations and my market.
Every area may be different as well as the trends and trends may vary, but QUALITY has shelf life. In my experience, I find when customers find a product they can depend on they become loyal users.
If you want repeat customers you must have quality. Don't be CHEAP! start with a few very good products and work them, work them, work them! One high end cream base, one very nice all over lotion, and a very nice body wash will be a great place to start. I recommend not having any more than four to six fragrances. To many choice for customers to consider can be confusing and only the best and most popular ones will sell well.
Now that you have some of the basics under your belt you need some pricing strategies.
Once you have a pricing system in place you will want to develop the habit of continually examining and reexamining the prices of the products and services you sell to make sure they're still appropriate to the realities of the current market. Sometimes you need to lower your prices. At other times, it may be appropriate to raise your prices. Many companies have found that the profitability of certain products or services doesn't justify the amount of effort and resources that go into producing them. By raising their prices, they may lose a percentage of your customers, but the remaining percentage generates a profit on every sale.
Sometimes you can combine products and services together with special offers and special promotions. Sometimes you can include free additional items that cost you very little to produce but make your prices appear far more attractive to your customers.
In business, as in nature, whenever you experience resistance or frustration in any part of your sales or marketing activities, be open to revisiting that area. Be open to the possibility that your current pricing structure is not ideal for the current market. Be open to the need to revise your prices, if necessary, to remain competitive, to survive and thrive in a fast-changing marketplace.
Keep In Good Standings - Product
To begin with, develop the habit of looking at your product as though you were an outside marketing consultant brought in to help your company decide whether or not it's in the right business at this time. Ask critical questions such as, "Is your current product or service, or mix of products and services, appropriate and suitable for the market and the customers of today?"
Whenever you're having difficulty selling as much of your products or services as you'd like, you need to develop the habit of assessing your business honestly and asking, "Are these the right products or services for our customers today?"
Is there any product or service you're offering today that, knowing what you now know, you would not bring out again today? Compared to your competitors, is your product or service superior in some significant way to anything else available? If so, what is it? If not, could you develop an area of superiority? Should you be offering this product or service at all in the current marketplace?
Who's On the Bus?
The most important factor applied by the best companies was that they first of all "got the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off the bus." Once these companies had hired the right people, the second step was to "get the right people in the right seats on the bus."
To be successful in business, you must develop the habit of thinking in terms of exactly who is going to carry out each task and responsibility. In many cases, it's not possible to move forward until you can attract and put the right person into the right position. Many of the best business plans ever developed sit on shelves today because the [people who created them] could not find the key people who could execute those plans.